Essex

New Tesco store in Manningtree approved

Plans for a new supermarket to be built in one of England's smallest towns have been given the go ahead.

Tendring District Council has approved an application from Tesco to build the store in Manningtree, Essex.

A previous application for a larger store on a site close to the town centre was refused last year and a second was deferred in March.

The plans have divided opinion in the town with strong campaigns by those for and against over the past four years.

The 1,920sq metre (20,667sq ft) store will be built 300 metres (984ft) from the town centre in Station Road and create 180 jobs.

The council's planning committee voted five to two in favour, with four abstentions.

A spokeswoman for Tesco estimated it would be between 18 months and two years before the new store opens.

Campaigners backing the scheme argued it would create jobs, provide consumer choice and competition and stop people shopping out of town.

Mark Morsley, Manningtree town councillor and chairman of the Tesco for Manningtree campaign, welcomed the decision.

He said: "Lots of residents of Manningtree go out of the town to shop.

"We believe it's going to help regenerate what was a busy high street years ago and will get people back to the town."

'Disappointed and appalled'

Opposition to the plans focused on its size and design, increased traffic and the impact on existing shops.

Rosemary Raddon, from Stour Community First, said she was "disappointed and appalled" by the decision, but believed the campaigning had been worthwhile.

She said: "It's raised people's consciousness. People are a lot more thoughtful, there's much more awareness of what our town is all about.

"So although we may have lost this particular battle, we have also achieved an awful lot."

The Tesco spokeswoman added the firm was "really pleased" with the outcome and played down concerns it would affect existing businesses.

She said: "These are hypothetical fears. There's no proof that building a store close to the town centre like this would be damaging."

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